Jesus answered, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit……..If I have told you about earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? (John 3:5, 12)
There is much about God that we can understand, and God wants us to understand. That is why God sent his Son, Jesus. So that we could see, touch, and hear God in real life. To make God’s will and God’s presence clear through Jesus teachings, his actions, and his death. Many think of Jesus as a “good example” to follow as we tend to “earthly things.”
There is still a lot of about God that we don’t understand. That remains mystery. Jesus’ birth. Jesus miracles. Jesus face shining on the mountain and God’s voice speaking over him. Jesus death and his resurrection. The Spirit blowing where it will. While our non-western Christian brothers and sisters welcome these mysteries of God, our western minds tend to be skeptical. These “heavenly things” defy the laws of physics and seem “too good to be true.”
We tend to choose one over the other. If we focus on “earthly things” we work hard to make Jesus acts and vision of feeding thousands, freeing prisoners, and welcoming strangers our priority. Heavenly things are nice to ponder, but they don’t help people. “So heavenly minded, we are no earthly good.”
If we focus on “heavenly things” we tend to focus on our own personal salvation and less on our call to meet the physical needs of others. I just need to make sure I am perfect, as my heavenly Father is perfect. Peace and justice is for God to sort out. This life and what we do doesn’t matter so much, because we have a better home waiting for us.
But Jesus doesn’t make this division. He holds both together. Water AND Spirit. Heavenly AND Earthly. Human AND Divine. Reality AND Mystery. It is not one or the other. Jesus meets people’s physical needs because he is filled with God’s Spirit. We need the wonder and mystery of God, so that we can be sustained and endure through our heavenly calling to meet the physical needs of others. We need to be born in water and Spirit.
Prayer: Mighty God, send me your Spirit and fill me with wonder and mystery, so that I can be heavenly minded and do good things for your people and your earth.